Oceanic Linguistics

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Additional Information

ISSN: 0029-8115
E-ISSN: 1527-9421
Frequency: Semiannual

Oceanic Linguistics is the only journal devoted exclusively to the study of the indigenous languages of the Oceanic area and parts of Southeast Asia. The languages within the scope of the journal are those of the Austronesian family, the Aboriginal languages of Australia, and the Papuan languages of New Guinea. Articles in Oceanic Linguistics cover issues of linguistic theory that pertain to languages of the area, report research on historical relations, or furnish new information about inadequately described languages.

Submit your manuscript online using the template.

Book Series: Oceanic Linguistics Special Publications

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  • Editorial Board
  • Editor

    Daniel Kaufman, Queens College & Endangered Language Alliance

    Yuko Otsuka, Sophia University

    Antoinette Schapper, CNRS, Lacito

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and LACITO-CNRS

    Assistant Editor

    Owen Edwards, Leiden University

    Review Editor

    Alexander D. Smith, University of North Texas


    Alexander Adelaar, University of Melbourne

    Juliette Blevins, CUNY Graduate Center

    James T. Collins, The National University of Malaysia

    Alexandre François, LACITO–CNRS, Paris

    Matthew Gordon, University of California, Santa Barbara

    Hsiu-chuan Liao, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

    Miriam Meyerhoff, Victoria University of Wellington

    Bill Palmer, University of Newcastle

    Eric Potsdam, University of Florida

    Malcolm Ross, Australian National University

    Elizabeth Zeitoun, Academia Sinica

    R. David Zorc, Zorc Language Enterprises


    †Robert Blust, U.S.A. (deceased January 5, 2022)

    Videa De Guzman, Canada

    Paul Jen-kuei Li, Taiwan

    Bernd Nothofer, Germany

    Andrew Pawley, Australia

    Lawrence A. Reid, U.S.A.

    Suzanne Romaine, England

  • Recent Articles
  • Editorial Note
    Posted on Wednesday May 29, 2024

    Middle, Reflexive, and Reciprocal Constructions in Nalögo: A Typological and Diachronic Account
    Posted on Wednesday May 29, 2024

    The Grammaticalization of Self and Self-World in East Mekeo: Personhood as a Closed System
    Posted on Wednesday May 29, 2024

    Development of a *kl- Consonant Cluster into Phrase-Initial Epenthetic Breathiness in Ende (Eastern Indonesia)
    Posted on Wednesday May 29, 2024

    Posted on Wednesday May 29, 2024

    The Phonetic Nature of PAn *j
    Posted on Wednesday May 29, 2024

    Austronesian Lexemes in Basa Latala of Borneo: A Punan Sajau Song Language
    Posted on Wednesday May 29, 2024

    Posted on Wednesday May 29, 2024

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  • Author Guidelines
  • Instructions for Contributors

    INITIAL SUBMISSION. An anonymized electronic manuscript is requested of all authors. All submissions should be made through our journal management system (eJournal Press).  Although formatting is not a consideration at the initial stage, we encourage you to use the provided Oceanic Linguistics template for submission.  If you have written your initial submission in LaTeX, update your article as a “cover letter”.  Bear in mind, however, that unfortunately, we do not currently support LaTeX for the final versions or articles.  If accepted, you will be asked to convert your article to a word version.  

    MANUSCRIPTS. The Oceanic Linguistics template was created in Microsoft Word and is intended to closely mimic the final look of your article. This template should be usable in different text editors including Microsoft Word, or LibreOffice. This template contains instructions on formatting and style, as well as styles which are used in different parts of an OL article. It also contains pre-formatted elements such as example sentences and tables which can be copied and pasted into your document.

    Do not to fall into the trap of wasting inordinate time formatting your document. Just try to follow the template as best you can. Your article will be judged according to its contents and contribution to the field, not according to how well it is formatted. Use of this template is no guarantee your article will be accepted.

    Authors are not required to use the template, but articles conforming to this template will appear online as a pre-release ahead of the print publication. If you have not used this template for initial submission, you will have an opportunity to implement it if your article is accepted. Authors who do not use this template are asked to keep formatting to a minimum, with the following basic specifications: use 10pt Times New Roman (or similar Unicode font), set the page size to 432 × 648pt (6 × 9 inches), set the inside margin at 66pt, the outside margin at 53pt. Example sentences must be set as tables with invisible borders. Tables should be typeset as tables. Tab stops and multiple sequences of spaces are prohibited.

    For the final version, acknowledgments should be included in the first note. Please omit acknowledgements in the initial submission to maintain anonymity. Include a list of nonstandard abbreviations (only those not in the Leipzig rules), separated by semicolons and commas, in an early note (e.g., CL, clitic; TEL, telic).

    TABLES & FIGURES. Figures and maps should appear in a standard graphic format (TIFF or JPEG), and should have dimensions that fit an OL page (maximum width, 26 picas or 312 pt). For the initial submission, please place tables in the body of the paper roughly where they should appear in the final document, but figures and maps should also be uploaded separately to the journal management system as image files

    Editorial style

    Editorial style follows The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), as implemented in current issues of Oceanic Linguistics. Spelling follows Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. Also followed are The Leipzig Glossing Rules: Conventions for interlinear morpheme-by-morpheme glosses, including the standard abbreviations listed there: https://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/resources/glossing-rules.php.


    Comma. OL style is to use the serial comma or “Oxford comma”. That is: Starosta, Pawley, and Reid, not Starosta, Pawley and Reid.

    APOSTROPHE. Proper names ending in s use s’s: (e.g., Collins’s study).

    QUOTATION MARKS. Double quotes are put “outside.” That is, outside periods, commas, question marks, and exclamation marks. Double quotes are used for quotes, special terminology, and as scare quotes. Single quotes are ‘inside’. Single quotes are used for glosses, translated concepts, and for quotes within quotes. An exception is that single quotes are used outside in translations of example sentences. (See the examples in section 4.)

    PARENTHESES/BRACKETS. Square brackets are used for parentheses within parentheses (…[…]). This is frequently the case for citations which occur within parentheses. When numbering examples within text, surround numbers with parentheses, that is: (3), not 3). Parentheticals follow the headword gloss if they contain a separate gloss: *budaq (doublet *barak) ‘white’ but *gateq ‘coconut milk’ (doublet *gateq ‘sap’).

    SPACES AND TAB STOPS. There should be no sequences of spaces in your document, That is, there should be only a single space between words and sentences (unlike a certain style of typing that always put two spaces between sentences). Please eliminate all sequences of spaces from your document.

    Wherever possible, avoid tab stops. OL only allows tab stops in three cases: after the bullet of a list, after the number in a footnote, and after the symbol in a table note. Any other use of tab stops is strictly forbidden. In particular, example sentences and tables should be typeset as tables. Similarly, tables should never be created with tab stops. Typeset them as tables. If tab stops truly must be used for some unforeseen reason, use only single tabs with their positions specially set—do not use sequences of tabs.

    DIACRITICAL MARKS. In the unlikely event that the manuscript includes special characters not found in Times New Roman or other Unicode fonts, replace each special character in the unformatted electronic file with a distinctive and unique alphanumeric code (e.g., Anejo<tilde-m> for Anejom̃, ja<macron n>it for jan̄it). The codes may be ad hoc, as long as they are clear and unambiguous. Include with the manuscript a list of all codes used.

    HYPHEN. Be sure that compound adjectives in front of a noun are clear. Insert a hyphen to avoid ambiguity: high-order protolanguage, person-marking affixes, word-initial position. Once a hyphen is introduced, be consistent throughout the article. Lower-case words preceded by many prefixes are not hyphenated: noninitial, coocur, counterintuitive, interrelated, metalanguage, multifaceted, preempt, postparticle, protoform, reexamine, sociolinguistics. Further examples and exceptions are given in CMS 7.90.

    EN-DASH. The en-dash (U+2013; Alt-0150) is used for inclusive numbers, as a minus sign, for juxtaposed opposites or extremes, including bi- or multilingual designations: 128–34, 1934–38, –HI, north–south axis, Ivatan–Filipino–English dictionary.

    EM-DASH. The em-dash (U+2013, Alt-0151) is used for amplifying or explaining, indicating sudden breaks, and so forth. No more than two should be used in a sentence, and there should be no space on either side of the em-dash. Three em-dashes are used in reference lists when an author designation is repeated.

    CAPITAL LETTERS. Do not capitalize types of linguistic rules (assimilation, tone sandhi, movement) but specific rules (Tone Mapping, Assimilation, Accent Association) may be capitalized in moderation. A rule referred to repeatedly in a paper should be abbreviated, possibly with small capitals, or in lower case. Do not capitalize grammatical classes (noun, gerund, participle). To quote from CMS, “Chicago generally prefers a ‘down’ style—the parsimonious use of capitals.” Thus: “in the appendix,” “in section 2,” “in the northeast,” anglicize, arabic numerals, biblical reference.

    LINGUISTIC SIGNS, SPACING, AND ORDER SPACES AROUND SIGNS. Place spaces around greater/less than, equals, and plus signs between words. (*urub  >  oro) but ( >  oro); (oro  <  *urub) but ( <  *urub); (rake  =  ‘stomach’) but ( =  ‘stomach’); (noun  +  noun); (Head  +  Head); (Head  +  Modifier).

    COLONS. Use a nonbreaking space before the colon in correspondence formulas: Karo Batak mbulan ‘white, pale’ :  Tae bulan ‘albino’. In MS Word a nonbreaking space can be typed with Ctrl + Shift + Space.

    MATHEMATIC FORMULAS. Use sans serif characters in math formulas.

    ROMAN NUMERALS. Avoid roman numerals—use arabic numerals and/or alphabetically labeled lists where necessary.

    ABSTRACTS AND NUMBERING. Abstracts are required for all articles and squibs. They are not part of any paragraph-numbering system. Abstracts should be brief and self-contained, and not dependent on the reference list, nor should they have footnotes. Abstracts are limited to a single paragraph. Although a style “OL abstract extra paragraph” is provided, it should only be used in highly exceptional circumstances.


    NUMBERS. Use Chicago style numbers in text: “spell out single-digit numbers and use numerals for all others” (CMS 9.6: alternative rule). Use commas in thousands: 3,065.

    INCLUSIVE NUMBERS. Use abbreviated numbers for years (1968–80, 1990–91, but 1898–1903) and for page ranges (46–48, 100–104, 101–8, 1103–4, 125–28, 498–510). Inclusive numbers in a published title appear as published, no matter what style. The hyphen between inclusive numbers should always be converted to the en-dash (U+2013; Alt-0150) in typesetting.

    PERCENTAGES. Use numeral and the word “percent” in text. The %-sign may be used in tables.

    DATES. 1000 BC, but AD 1000 (BC and AD typeset as small caps). Write out centuries (twentieth century), but 1920s and 1900s (and not 1920’s and 1900’s).


    Terms which occur frequently throughout the document can be abbreviated with the abbreviation included in brackets after the first use of the term: general noun-modifying clause construction (GNMCC), Proto-Malayo-Polynesian (PMP). Abbreviations should be avoided if the term does not occur frequently in your article and/or is not well established in the field. Avoid novel and unnecessary abbreviations. If you are the only person using an abbreviation, be considerate and spell it out (unless it is particularly frequent in your article). You can always do a global find-and-replace on your favorite abbreviation before submitting your article.

    Abbreviations for common syntactic elements (e.g., N, V, NP), word orders (e.g., SVO, SOV), or phonological elements (e.g., C, V) do not need to be spelled out on their first use. Except for such examples, abbreviations should be avoided in the abstract.

    LANGUAGE NAMES. Follow the proposal set forth by Reid (1992) for abbreviations referring to language names. Use small caps and no periods. A quick summary is as follows: (1) four-letter names remain unchanged; (2) other abbreviations should normally have three letters; (3) the first letter should be capital, the second and third should be small caps unless they refer to a capitalized name; (4) a small-cap font should be used; (5) Protolanguage names retain the abbreviation for the language family, with an initial uppercase P. Examples: TAG, Tagalog; PSW, Port Sandwich; PAN, Proto-Austronesian; PMP, Proto-Malayo-Polynesian; PTNG, Proto-Trans-New Guinea.

    “PAGE(S)”. Do not use “p.” or “pp.”, except to avoid ambiguity.

    SCHOLARLY. Standard abbreviations (etc., e.g., i.e., cf.) are acceptable only in footnotes and parenthetically in text. Elsewhere spell out these abbreviations (CMS 15.45), such as “etc.” written out as “and so forth.” Always follow “e.g.” and “i.e.” with a comma. Some people use “e.g.” for only a limited range from a set, while “i.e.” is used for the complete set.

    PERIOD, POINT. Greater parsimony in the use of periods is to be found in the 15th edition of CMS than in the 14th, with the general recommendation, “use periods with abbreviations that appear in lowercase letters; use no periods with [those] that appear in full capitals or small capitals” (15.4). Of course there are many exceptions, but two instances of consistency that can be mentioned here are the abbreviations for language names (generally three letters, with lower case portions in small caps) in OL, and for academic degrees: PAN, POC, TAG, MAL; PhD, MA.

    MORPHEME GLOSSES. Follow the Leipzig Glossing Rules and use the standard abbreviations from that list. Any additional abbreviations needed in your paper should be summarized either in the introductory footnote or in a footnote introduced after the first use of an abbreviation. If this is an example sentence, the footnote callout should be placed after the sentence directly preceding the example. The abbreviations should be listed in the format: DIR, directional; PREP, preposition. That is, with abbreviations separated from their meaning by a comma followed by a semi-colon before the next abbreviation. Use equals signs (=) to mark clitic boundaries.

    AFFILIATIONS AND ADDRESSES OF AUTHORS. Author’s affiliation—given at beginning of article on line following author’s name—should be limited to top-level name of institution, and should not include names of departments or other sublevel units. Email address (and optionally, mailing address) may be given in 8 pt. type at the end of the article, when space permits without beginning a new page. Addresses of coauthors may also be given, space permitting. When it is desired that all correspondence concerning a multiauthored article be directed to a single author, only that author’s email and/or mailing address should be given.


    In-text citation examples: (Blust 1970:348–49, fn.7) (Blust forthcoming) (Blust n.d.) (Starosta 1971a,b) (Collins, pers. comm.) (Dempwolff 1934–38). Do not use passim or ff. except when not to do so would be cumbersome; give beginning and final pages for spans: (Chen 1987:117–19). Use “et al.” only when citing a work with more than three authors.

    In reference lists, give issue number in parentheses only when pagination is not continuous throughout the volume: Classical Philology 94(2): 205–9; but Oceanic Linguistics 45:133–52. When the issue number is included, there is a space after the colon. Several examples of how references should be formatted for different sources are included in the reference list at the end of the template.

    AUTHORS. In references, use authors’ and editors’ given names when these are what appear in the original. Do not use just initials, unless this is what the author uses. When initials are normally used by a given author, separate each by a space: R. M. W. Dixon, not R.M.W. Dixon. With two or more authors, use “and,” not “&.”

    CAPITALIZATION. The first word of book or article title (or subtitle following colon) is capital, remainder not capital (unless a proper noun). Title of series or journal in regular title caps: Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication No. 28.

    EDITED COLLECTIONS. Note the treatment of articles that form chapters of books: AUTHOR(S). yyyy. CHAPTER-TITLE. In BOOK-TITLE, ed. by EDITOR(S), INCLUSIVE-ARTICLE-PAGES. SERIES. CITY: PUBLISHER. Give full names of all editors. Do not use “pp.” Please note especially “In BOOK TITLE”, not “In EDITOR(S).” Only one city need be given, the first listed, where the main editorial offices are located.

    FOREIGN DOCUMENTS. When the translation of a foreign title is supplied, it appears in Roman, in square brackets, with only proper nouns in capitals.

    PUBLISHERS. Generally, publisher’s names in references and full names are supplied consistently throughout the references. Where possible, give current names of publishers. An example is: University of Hawai‘i Press, not University of Hawaii Press.


    BLOCK QUOTES, PROSE EXTRACTS. OL style is to not offset quotations under 100 words, unless special emphasis is required. Lean toward running in quotes. For quotes over 100 words use the “OL block quote” style.

    BOOK REVIEW STYLE. The bibliographic information at the beginning of a book review is as follows: Alice T. Author. 1990. Book title in italics: First up, rest down. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. xiv + 261 pp. ISBN #. Price, paper/cloth. Note that subtitles are also “first up” (that is, they begin with a capital letter), and they are preceded by a colon. Price and other details can usually be obtained from publisher’s web site. Use the “OL review book information” style for this bibliographic information.

    GRAMMAR: RESTRICTIVE AND NONRESTRICTIVE. OL style is to use “that” for restrictive (essential) relative clauses, and “which” only for nonrestrictive (nonessential) clauses. In relative clauses, when not preceded by a preposition, “which” should be preceded by a comma.

    SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT. Watch out for a phrase or clause that separates a subject from its verb. (Occasionally, instead of using a verb that agrees with the subject, an author will use a verb that agrees with the singular/plural of the intruding phrase or clause.)

    PRONOUNS. If it is not clear to what or whom a pronoun is referring, remove it and repeat the noun. (Lean toward the author’s usage, unless you as a reader had to pause to figure it out.)

    Book-review writers often overuse “he” or “she” when referring to an author. Interrupt long strings of pronouns by occasionally substituting the last name for the pronoun—no need to overdo this. Recent OL book-review practice of using initial of author’s surname for references after the first is a viable alternative for reviews.

    THE TERM “CASE.” Linguists, for whom “case” is a technical term, should not contribute to its overuse, something that is endemic in many disciplines today. There are many good substitutes to help us: “it is not the case…” > “it is not true…”; “It is the case that he is older than I am.” > “He is older than I am.”; “in this case” > “in this instance”; and so forth.

  • Indexes
  • Articles appearing in Oceanic Linguistics are indexed and/or abstracted in:

    Culture, Langues, Textes: La Revue de Sommaires,

    Blackwell’s Linguistics Abstracts Online

    Book Review Index

    European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH)

    Bibliography of Asian Studies (Online), 1970-1999

    Clarivate Analytics–
    Arts & Humanities Citation Index
    Current Contents
    Web of Science

    De Gruyter Saur–
    IBZ – Internationale Bibliographie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Zeitschriftenliteratur
    Internationale Bibliographie der Rezensionen Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlicher Literatur

    Academic Search Alumni Edition, 6/1/2003-
    Academic Search Complete, 6/1/2003-
    Academic Search Elite, 6/1/2003-
    Academic Search Premier, 6/1/2003-
    Anthropological Literature (Online)
    Biography Index: Past and Present (H.W. Wilson), vol.43, no.1, 2004-vol.45, no.2, 2006
    Communication & Mass Media Complete, 6/1/2003-
    Communication Source, 6/1/2003-
    Current Abstracts, 6/1/2003-
    Humanities International Complete, 6/1/2003-
    Humanities International Index, 6/1/2003-
    Humanities Source, 6/1/2003-
    Humanities Source Ultimate, 6/1/2003-
    MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)
    Russian Academy of Sciences Bibliographies
    TOC Premier (Table of Contents), 6/1/2003-

    Elsevier BV–
    Scopus, 2004-


    Academic OneFile, 06/2000-
    Book Review Index Plus
    Expanded Academic ASAP, 06/2000-
    General OneFile, 06/2000-
    InfoTrac Custom, 6/2000-
    MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)
    K I T L V Press
    EI (Online) (Excerpta Indonesica)

    ArticleFirst, vol.31, no.2, 1992-vol.50, no.1, 2011
    Electronic Collections Online, vol.38, no.2, 1999-vol.50, no.1, 2011

    Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (Online), Core
    Linguistics Collection, 6/1/2015-
    MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)
    Social Science Premium Collection, 6/1/2015-